Geek Month in Review: August 2013

By JB Sanders

Isn’t it supposed to be mega-hot?

Ancient Underground Structures
Come for the bunkers built 2,800 years ago, stay for the sexist architecture.

What You Got There is a Category 5 Language. Yup.
The Foreign Service Institute (whatever the heck that is) has developed a list of languages, and rated them in how difficult they are for an English speaker to learn.

Toilet Tech Vulnerability
Because, really, you want the technology in your toilet to have a “vulnerability”. Maybe we should just skip having “technology” as part of your toilet in the first place. I just can’t stop snorting at this story.

Famous Guns
From all sorts of things: James Bond’s silenced pistol, Dr. Morbius’ ray gun (Forbidden Planet), a Star Trek old series phaser, and the list goes on.

Mars Rover, Huh? What’s the Blue Book On That?
Seriously, here’s an article discussing how to calculate the current “blue book” value of the Mars Rover. It has had a little wear-and-tear.

Bus Charges While It Drives
Build a special roadway, put the right equipment in your bus, and it never has to stop to charge. Pretty neat.

500 New Fairy Tales
Unearthed in an archive in Germany, 500 tales unheard for over 150 years. This feels like a Fables major story line.

Lighting a Million Homes
Guy invents an extremely easy and cheap way to spread light inside homes during the day. And millions of people use the idea.

New York City’s Secret Subway Station
Ok, more like abandoned but still amazingly cool looking. As a bonus, graffiti artists have discovered it and put up some impressive murals.

Timeline of Slang for Your Naughty Bits
Ever wonder how various adult slang developed over time and what people were using to swear in 1910? Wonder no more! Tip: be sure to click the – sign a few times to get a better overview, and slide to the right. (Link is to the Lady Bits version, but there’s also a Men’s Bits page, too.)

How Big is Wikipedia?
If you printed all the articles in Wikipedia (English), how many encyclopedia volumes would that make? About 2000. There’s a live-updating page to calculate it.

About John:
John’s a geek from way back. He’s been floating between various computer-related jobs for years, until he settled into doing tech support in higher ed. Now he rules the Macs on campus with an iron hand (really, it’s on his desk).

Geek Credentials:
RPG: Blue box D&D, lead minis, been to GenCon in Milwaukee.
Computer: TRS-80 Color Computer, Amiga 1000, UNIX system w/reel-to-reel backup tape
Card games: bought Magic cards at GenCon in 1993
Science: Met Phil Plait, got time on a mainframe for astronomy project in 1983
His Blog: http://glenandtyler.blogspot.com